Germany qualify for WCL Division Five
They may have had a hiccup against Sweden on the way, but Germany made it back to back promotions as they beat Belgium today to secure the European Division One title and qualification to Division 5 of the World Cricket League.
Belgium won the toss and chose to bat first against Germany at the VOC Ground in Rotterdam, and with the top three all out for single digit scores, soon found themselves on the back foot. Number nine Ashiqullah Said ended up as the top scorer with 46. The final total for the Belgians was 190, with Sajid Liaqat and Mudassar Muhammad both taking three wickets.
Germany lost Daniel Weston for a 14 ball duck early in their innings, but they overcame that early setback. An unbroken fourth wicket partnership between Rishi Pillai and Brandon Ess helped secure the seven wicket win. Pillai top scored with 60, whilst Ess wasn't far behind on 57.
Germany will now be one of four European teams in WCL Division Five, set to be played in South Africa in September. Italy and Jersey were relegated from Division Four late last year, whilst Guernsey finished third in the last Division Five tournament.
The other four regions all have a representative in the tournament through their regional pathway structures. Qatar will be the Asian representative, Ghana will be representing the African region, the Cayman Islands are the Americas entrant, whilst Vanuatu have come through the East Asia-Pacific region.
Germany last played in the World Cricket League at the old Division Seven tournament in Botswana back in 2013. They played in the first Division Five event in Jersey in 2008.
In the other matches today, Sweden beat Norway by 3 wickets, in the process lifting their net run rate enough to be able to finish second, whilst Austria beat France by two runs in a closely fought contest to ensure that the French finished last.
Whether the French - or any other side - will be relegated or not remains to be seen though. As up to four European sides will be relegated from Division 5 in September, ICC Europe staff will be waiting to see how many teams come down from that tournament and how many teams meet the requirements to play in regional tournaments before deciding on the exact nature of the structure for the next cycle.